Delta’s “branded fares” give slight boost, but unit revenues still down

Delta Air Lines said its tiered fare system, including two varieties of economy class, has increased its revenue by $56 million.

Atlanta-based Delta said offering passengers choices between”branded fares” — including Basic Economy fares with no advance seat assignments and less flexibility, Main Cabin as the standard economy fares, Delta Comfort+ as the new name for economy comfort, First Class and Delta One international business class — brought in more revenue in the second quarter of the year.

Overall, Delta on Wednesday reported a profit of nearly $1.5 billion in the second quarter as it increased flying by 3 percent. But the airline has been struggling with declining unit revenues and yield amid international pressures and “pockets of domestic weakness,” according to chief financial officer Paul Jacobson, and plans to scale back growth later this year.

That “should put the business on the right trajectory to stem the erosion in unit revenues by the end of the year,” said Delta president Ed Bastian in a written statement.